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stillshimpy

Exercise: What's Your Workout?

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Do either of you wear a heart rate monitor so you know exactly how many calories you are burning?

 

No, but I think I will buy a runner's GPS watch (with HRM, distance, pacing). I don't really care about my pace too much unless I am coming up to race. I  do my most of my runs with other runners who have a GPS watch. When alone, I map it out to figure out the distance and estimate time.

 

I plan to do a half marathon next year so if I complete one, I'll buy a watch a to celebrate. I'd like to use the heart rate monitor just to see my max and heart rate target levels. I also know a couple of marathoners doing heart rate training and I'm curious about the benefits of incorporating it to my routine. I workout mainly to stay fit, active, and maintain my body. So I don't really calculate my calorie burning. I'm lucky and I inevitably eat less around my workouts. 

 

The annoying thing is that I've noticed I'm more hungry lately because I am working out so much. On workout days, I'm ok but it's the less active days when I find myself craving more food. I love food so it doesn't help. Hehe.

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I'm on a high intensity, but shorter workout cycle for ten days.  So it's stuff like metabolic conditioning, kickboxing, super-sets and then HIIT cardio.  Usually ends in lots of soreness and is harder than hell , but on the upside it does mean I am only working out 30-40 minutes a day and I get two rest days this week....woo and hoo!

Athena, I really notice that too.  Whenever I'm on a yoga or less intense cardio cycle, there's such a huge difference in my appetite, it's actually kind of amazing. 

 

 

I have a heart rate monitor, but it's the kind that straps around your chest and feeds data to the wrist watch and I hate that darn thing.  I'm more concerned with distance and duration, so I just figured it wasn't worth the hassle.  

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I know what you mean about the reviews. There were a couple of times I should have taken them seriously. But when I was trying to select my monitor the advice was to get one with a chest strap. I've had it nearly a year. The chest strap device calculates calories based on your personal data. Different models measure different things. Mine doesn't have steps and distance so I have to use my iPod for that. However, the difference between calories burned is around 200-250 more on my monitor. It helped me become more accurate with my meals. It's a Polar FT7.

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Sorry to hear that, briochetwist. I hope you find the right shoe soon. Depending on which running store you go to, they will let try it out if you run on the treadmill and get a full refund if they don't work out. 

 

 

 

 

Thanks.  I actually found a pair that work, I did some research and a lot of supinators seem to love the Saucony Ghost.  They're only $80.00 and horribly ugly - they look like something that Runner Barbie would wear, but they work well and I can run again without pain!  :)

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Yup, I do.   We talked about that on the previous page, but I gave up using it on the IT band because it never stopped hurting me.  I found yoga for hamstrings and hips to be more effective and also it showed much quicker progress for me.  After doing yoga I can now use the foam roller without wanting to scream, but I just don't use it on that band area any longer.   The only area it tends to help for me is back and shoulder, as well as chest stretching.  I also use it when doing shoulder/chest weight lifting rather than the weight bench we have.  I've got kind of a small shoulder span and torso so it works better for me than the bench or trying to use an exercise ball.  

So I didn't have a particularly typical experience with it.  I think a lot of people find it really helps with the IT band whereas for me, that's the area it didn't help and yet it did help with a lot of stretching issue in my lower back, upper back and shoulders.  

By the way, there's a yoga pose called "fish pose" that is just a beginner pose, yet I almost violently dislike the darned thing.  It targets stretching the exact same muscle group that I've found the roller to be helpful in stretching.  So it's not a universal thing for me, where yoga always works better.   There's some wisdom to that though, pain makes people tense up and it's really hard to improve flexibility when tensed.   

So that might have something to do with it.  I've actually done something called MAT therapy, which might be complete bunk but is "muscle activation technique"   and a lot of trainers recommend it.   It's somewhat uncomfortable <---- faking British understatement.   It hurts like hell.  The therapist that did my sessions says it's a rare day she doesn't make a grown man cry.   I actually didn't cry, but I did go in knowing that it was supposed to excruciating, but that endorphins kick too.   It really is extremely uncomfortable, but a lot of people swear by it.   So that's kind of like what the roller is supposed to do, only on steroids.  

I'm not sure how much good it did me long term, but it also did help.  

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Does anyone use the foam roller?

 

Yes, I use The Grid/Trigger Point. It's a harder foam roller with a PVC tube in the middle so it lasts much longer than standard rollers. I don't know if it helps in terms of prevention or recovery, but it does feel good (in the painful way) and does warm my muscles up. I use it pre-running and post-running if possible. The first few times, my eyes watered, but now, I just get away with grimacing and closing my eyes on sensitive spots: IT band, lower back, calves. I only roll my lower half because I find it awkward to roll my upper body areas. 

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Yup, I do.   We talked about that on the previous page, but I gave up using it on the IT band because it never stopped hurting me.  I found yoga for hamstrings and hips to be more effective and also it showed much quicker progress for me.  After doing yoga I can now use the foam roller without wanting to scream, but I just don't use it on that band area any longer.   The only area it tends to help for me is back and shoulder, as well as chest stretching.  I also use it when doing shoulder/chest weight lifting rather than the weight bench we have.  I've got kind of a small shoulder span and torso so it works better for me than the bench or trying to use an exercise ball.  

So I didn't have a particularly typical experience with it.  I think a lot of people find it really helps with the IT band whereas for me, that's the area it didn't help and yet it did help with a lot of stretching issue in my lower back, upper back and shoulders.  

By the way, there's a yoga pose called "fish pose" that is just a beginner pose, yet I almost violently dislike the darned thing.  It targets stretching the exact same muscle group that I've found the roller to be helpful in stretching.  So it's not a universal thing for me, where yoga always works better.   There's some wisdom to that though, pain makes people tense up and it's really hard to improve flexibility when tensed.   

So that might have something to do with it.  I've actually done something called MAT therapy, which might be complete bunk but is "muscle activation technique"   and a lot of trainers recommend it.   It's somewhat uncomfortable <---- faking British understatement.   It hurts like hell.  The therapist that did my sessions says it's a rare day she doesn't make a grown man cry.   I actually didn't cry, but I did go in knowing that it was supposed to excruciating, but that endorphins kick too.   It really is extremely uncomfortable, but a lot of people swear by it.   So that's kind of like what the roller is supposed to do, only on steroids.  

I'm not sure how much good it did me long term, but it also did help.  

Your routine sounds awfully intense and I envy you. That's awesome.

 

I am working on becoming more limber but was so sore from the bike cardio and massaging my legs was not intense enough. In the stretching class and only one time, the instructor had us use the foam rollers. I immediately fell in love.

 

I tried to get an understanding of the the Muscle Activation Techniques and just can't make heads or tail of it. After reading the article (of course I will read anything if it mentions a Manning) and I watched the video and the information was vague. So I went to Youtube and even one trainer said he couldn't explain it and referred watchers back to the trainer who invented it or to get with a trainer in their area.

 

Yes, I use The Grid/Trigger Point. It's a harder foam roller with a PVC tube in the middle so it lasts much longer than standard rollers. I don't know if it helps in terms of prevention or recovery, but it does feel good (in the painful way) and does warm my muscles up. I use it pre-running and post-running if possible. The first few times, my eyes watered, but now, I just get away with grimacing and closing my eyes on sensitive spots: IT band, lower back, calves. I only roll my lower half because I find it awkward to roll my upper body areas. 

The noises I make when I hit those sore spots are truly indecent! I am addicted to using it already. I also find using it on the upper body awkward but I guess I will ask the instructor or either find a how-to video.

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So what you guys are saying is that if I really like massages that hurt my back muscles while they are going on, I might like a foam roller? I swear I'm not a masochist, but if the massage isn't hard enough to hurt a little, it really doesn't do my back much good.

 

I might be a little wary of using it on my iliotibial band, though, because I had knee problems with it in college. It got inflamed and rubbed back and forth over the bone and hurt like hell when I walked, much less ran (that's how it was explained to me -- I can't tell you exactly what happened). That's when I quit running competitively. I don't think it would hurt now, but I'm always watching out for it if I run. Maybe the foam roller would help?

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First, apologies. I'd forgotten all about the earlier discussion.

 

Auntlada...Yes, you might. When the instructor had them in class she said to choose the white one if it was the first time so I did. She said the black ones were really hard. Even then I was tempted to do the hardest one. Based on the fact that I'd used the wooden rolling pin for a while, I purchased the black foam roller. It hurt soooooo good.

 

BTW, doing the stretching, warm up and rolling pin made my legs feel super. I've tested all three methods separately and determined that all three in one session is preferable.

 

Here is an article:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/18/foam-rolling-mistakes_n_4980975.html

Edited by ethalfrida
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Your routine sounds awfully intense and I envy you. That's awesome.

 

Thanks, it's not really that intense.  I know people who do P90X, crossfit and UFC training.  I'm a complete weenie comparatively and proud to be so, because I'd hate doing that stuff.  For one thing, I'd be bad at it, for another I practically injure myself just watching demonstration videos, but I'm okay with that.  

 

Plus the MAT therapy was because of a permanent injury that causes some problems with my right hamstring, which is why I have to pursue flexibility like I'm trying to grab it for a ransom.    

Anyway, I use the black foam roller and agree, it's firmer than the white.   

 

 

 

So what you guys are saying is that if I really like massages that hurt my back muscles while they are going on, I might like a foam roller? I swear I'm not a masochist, but if the massage isn't hard enough to hurt a little, it really doesn't do my back much good.

 

You might like it, but it isn't like deep tissue muscle massages (Rolfing and trigger point), so one thing it's not really a passive thing, if that makes sense?  There's a key difference between lying that and having someone really go to town on the muscular structure or engaging in something where you have to support your body weight and move in order to receive the benefits, plus, it's just different in a way I can't entirely explain.  I've done deep tissue, rolfing, that insanely painful MAT and I won't do the foam roller on my IT band. I will do it essentially anywhere else, but deep tissue massage feels like beneficial discomfort.  That MAT therapy, again, felt like it was actually doing some good.  

 

For me, and only on the IT band, a foam roller just feels like being hurt and the only benefit I got out of it was how good it felt to stop.  It just didn't do anything on that area for me on the IT band.  If I had to guess, it's that I'm slightly knock-kneed.  Nothing particularly pronounced, but it's funny, my husband is a little bowlegged, so we'd be the easiest people in the world to track since I'm duckfooted and he's naturally pigeon-toed (and oh my God, when we try to dance the results are hilariously bad).   So I think that might actually have something to do with it, but I'm just guessing.  

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Not sure if this counts as exercise among all of you amazing people! I walk on the treadmill as I write. I turned it into a desk. It's pretty cool! And actually helps my creativity.

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SunshineOnMe,it all counts!!  I know I used to think in extremes - I have to work out hard for an hour every day or it isn't worth it - and of course I'd end up getting discouraged and quit completely.  The reality is you get huge benefits from any exercise at all.  I know many fit, healthy people whose main exercise is walking.

 

I ran my first 10K yesterday.  This is not geographically possible since the start and finish were at the same spot, but I swear it was 95% uphill.  I fully expected to come in dead last since I'm very slow on my best day, and my plan was to continually remind myself to slow down so that I could finish.  Primary goal was to finish without walking, secondary goal was to finish in under 1:30.  Well, I did it in just under 1:25, and I wasn't last - I was 9th from last!!  It was a perfect autumn day and the run was through a heavily wooded nearby park on the trails; it was without question one of the most perfect and beautiful days for a run that I've experienced. 

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How fun, RescueMom, and congratulations on beating your projected time! That's a great time, particularly for your first ever 10k.  Besides, there's a lot of value in sustaining that heart rate raise for a longer period.  It helps increase endurance capabilities and when those increase, weirdly speed on shorter distances increase.  My husband has been having great runs all week and I'm mentioning it because I put him back on a B vitamin supplement.  He does't eat any meat other than fish, and he hadn't been sleeping well -- which is often about low B and magnesium levels in people who don't meat (particularly beef, chicken, pork, or any land animal).  

 

So he's back to sleeping better, but the energy increase has really fueled great runs for him, so it's worth mentioning to a bunch of runners :-) B vitamins and magnesium supplements can help, in my experience.  Everything is individual, of course, but it never fails for him.  

 

 

 

Not sure if this counts as exercise among all of you amazing people! I walk on the treadmill as I write. I turned it into a desk. It's pretty cool! And actually helps my creativity.

 

Heck, not only does it count, SunshineOnMe, there's a fair amount of evidence that it has most of us bested in terms of overall health, because you've eliminated a lot of sitting with that approach.   Where my husband works they installed several Walking Work Stations during a fitness challenge they did and they are still very popular, specifically because it helps so much with productivity, weight control and overall feelings of well being.  

 

Plus, there's another area you'd have most of us easily beaten: Your risk of injury is almost nil (as long as you have good shoes) and that's the downside to the concept of working out, recovery times are a bear and really, the most sustainable activity is the one that is the best bet.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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You guys are awesome! As far as risk of injury; well, it could only happen to me. I now know what it's like to be on the treadmill and the power goes off.

Nothing was hurt but my dignity lol.

Most of my friends are runners, so I admire you all!

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I ran my first 10K yesterday.  This is not geographically possible since the start and finish were at the same spot, but I swear it was 95% uphill.

 

Sure it's possible. My father used to tell us about how he walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways. Surely he wouldn't have made that up.

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Sure it's possible. My father used to tell us about how he walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways. Surely he wouldn't have made that up.

 

And he was grateful!

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Sure it's possible. My father used to tell us about how he walked to school barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways. Surely he wouldn't have made that up.

Was a morning he had to he milked the cow and weave his own clothes? I think I heard this story before.
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Don't forget that 47 people shared one bathroom, never complained and gave thanks at every opportunity, even while wearing hand-me-downs (which were good enough for them, should be good enough for you) and he turned out just fine.   

Edited by stillshimpy
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I need help. My 10 year old niece is doing this thing called Girls on the Run. She runs a 5k on Nov 22nd. She has to have an 18+ run with her and she wants me to do it.

I am not nor ever have been a runner. I play tennis and work out doing aerobics (well let's be honest, this can be sporadic).

Do I have a chance at this? I googled I'm running a 5k in 4 weeks and have a schedule. I start Monday. But in real life, for you runners, is this possible? My niece is gifted in many things but per my sis is not a great runner so that helps.

Because it's for her I have this real sense that I can't let her down. Any suggestions or honesty is appreciated. The Internet is great, but you guys are exponentially better.

Thank you!

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I've heard only good things about Couch to 5K.

Edited to add that it's a 9-week plan, so 4 weeks may be unrealistic. Then again, you only need to keep up with your 10-year-old niece. Good luck—and hurray for helping your niece develop a healthy lifestyle!

Edited by editorgrrl
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I agree with editorgrrl - kudos to you, KnoxForPres, for doing this with your niece!!

 

From what you wrote of your fitness level, I suspect that getting up to running 3 miles in 4 weeks might be a little ambitious - while it is probably possible, when you push so hard at something brand new, you really open yourself up to injury.  It took me about 4 months to get through the 9-week C25K program, but I was also middle-aged, overweight, and had never really done anything athletic since my early teens.  If you are starting at a younger and/or fitter place, you can probably do it faster.  Honestly, most people could do it faster than I did :)

 

What I would recommend is this (bear in mind, I'm just an amateur runner, so any random stranger on the street likely know more about this kind of stuff than I do) - try doing the first workout in a C25K program.  If you breeze through it with no trouble at all (mine was 8 reps of 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking), next time do the first exercise in week 2 and see how that goes.  You might be able to progress a lot faster.  But if you are struggling, I really wouldn't push to do too much too quickly.

 

If your niece is 10 and not in great running shape, she likely won't be able to run the whole thing without stopping.  I'd see what you can do in the next few weeks, then propose doing the run in intervals that both of you can manage.  LOTS of people sign up for 5K runs that have no intention of running the entire thing - some walk all of it, others do intervals of walking and running.  These kinds of events are all about positivity and good energy and self-esteem for girls.  You don't need to run the entire route to get the benefits (physical and other) from them. 

 

Oh, and get yourself a very good pair of running shoes - go to a running store where they will help you find the right shoe for you.  IMO, appropriate shoes are the most important thing of all when you run.

 

I expect StillShimpy will chime in soon - she actually knows what she's talking about, so listen to her and not me if she disagrees with anything I wrote!!  :)

 

I hope you have a wonderful time, both training for the run and participating in it with your niece.  Please post updates on how it is going!!!

Edited by RescueMom
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I know what Blanche was talking about now in the kindness of strangers. Thank you so much.

My parents said they'd buy me some shoes so I can check that one off at least! I have some but they're more trail running because they look cooler to me. Look, I said I'm doing an honest program :)

I feel better about this. I know I will work as hard as I can and Reese (neice) will too. If anyone wondered, my sister is overweight and without asking I think she likely took her name out of the hat. My other neice is an amazing runner and my bro in law will run with her. He does those super marathons and everything so they're golden.

That leaves me and sweet Reese. It's kind of cool because it's a motivation I've not had before (though would have liked more heads up, but such is life). I will absolutely keep you posted, even if it's boring, to hold myself accountable.

I've downloaded the C25K app on my phone. My journey begins!

Edited by KnoxForPres
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I looked at their website http://girlsontherun.org and Girls on the Run is a three-month program run by a 501©3 non-profit organization.

Girls on the Run 5k’s are non-competitive events for our girls.The 5k’s celebrate a season of learning about the importance of taking care of our emotional and physical health—and truly embody our mission of inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident!

Sounds like you'll have a great time!

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I expect StillShimpy will chime in soon - she actually knows what she's talking about, so listen to her and not me if she disagrees with anything I wrote!!  :)

 

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, RescueMom , but running is my husband's forte, he's read all kinds of books on style and theory.  The man is serious about it.  If you ever need to discuss the relative merits of toe-running versus Chi running, he's your dude.  I did ask him and he looked a little skeptical, but here's the thing we both pretty much fixated on: You say your ten-year-old niece isn't really much of a runner either, right?  Yeah, you don't need to figure out how to run this distance, as much as you need to figure you out how to keep moving for the entirety of it, I think.  Now this is all said with the proviso that it's an awfully short time-frame and whereas it's doable, it also has a few attendant risks.  

 

I've been holding back for a reason.  Four weeks is pretty ambitious and my only concern for you, Knox, would be that it does set you up for injury.  Luckily, it is a relatively short distance and so I have a question for you --- have you tried quickly walking that distance?  That's actually going to be a good place to start.  If you're relatively fit, walking 3.1 miles should be pretty easy.  

 

You can try a training program, but you might want to try a really old standby that works for a lot of people when they are starting out: walk for five minutes, run for five minutes (there's also the telephone pole method where you run the distance between poles and then walk) and honestly since you're not looking to turn yourself into a runner, that might be your best bet rather than a training program.  You're trying to do this once and not end up dying, injured, or collapsed sobbing in the shrubbery.   Keep walking the distance -- if you're in pretty good shape, you can knock out three miles at a brisk walk without a problem and while you're doing that, every mile, throw in five minutes of a nice slow, non-jarring run.   Just to see how you feel.  

Let me grab you a couple of links too, because more than anything else, you want to make sure you understand running form (it will lower your risk of injury or aggravating the hell out of your tendons).   Hey, do you do any yoga at all?  Because stretching is going to be a big, big part of this for you.  

I'm not going to lie, you are so likely to feel like holy hell the day after you do this, but you can minimize the hell by making sure you try stretching.  

 

I think you can do it, but that's sort of a different question than "Is this a good idea?"  because it's not actually the world's best idea.  However, that's said from the adult standpoint of having that completion need where most adults would force themselves to do keep running, even when they want to die.  A ten-year-old is so much more likely to pitch dignity and walk when she needs to.  

 

I'm sorry to sound so hesitant, because I think it's admirable as can be, but I'd just go into it knowing that "it's perfectly fine if we just walk this distance" and there's one more thing, Knox.  Grab your niece and walk it with her.  See how she does just walking it and that will give you an idea of where she's at with all of this.  You may both need to do the five-and-five (or two and five or ....you get the point....adjust the run-to-walk accordingly).  

 

She's ten, I don't know that she really has a super firm grasp of how long three miles actually is when you're traveling it.  Find that out as your first move, that would be my advice.  Figure out how it feels at a walk and that will give you a much better idea of how to approach it.  Now if walking three miles is beyond either of you two? That's going to be an answer right there, you know?   

Edited by stillshimpy
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Okay, here are some links.  This is a fairly comprehensive form video.  At then end he talks about where to strike, etc.  that's going to be pretty important.   Here's a very comprehensive video.  I will not lie, this guy is oddly annoying, but it covers form extensively.  

 

 

And now this is a yoga video link.  Warm up for five minutes before you try this, you just need to not go in cold and if you try it, be careful on that quad stretch.  This guy essentially does yoga for a living and your results are just going to be a little different than his are :-)

Edited by stillshimpy
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For anyone wanting to start yoga, I highly recommend IRL classes at first. (Around me, there are several $5 classes, and even yoga for donation. Check your community rec programs, adult ed, even the library.)

A good teacher will walk around the room making corrections, even (with permission) moving you into the correct position. You'll really feel the difference!

Proper form is so important when doing yoga.

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That's a good point in general terms, editorgrrl, but what I linked to isn't actually a yoga program or class.  It's a seated and prone stretching video done in an instructional style for beginners.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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So agree with advice here.

 

One of the things that helped me was setting a pace. As was mentioned earlier initially we make the mistake of trying to run rather than trying to keep moving. My distance really improved when I started listening to music on my iPod. But there was one song in particular that had/has the beat that is perfect. Setting my pace to the beat of Count Basie's "Corner Pocket" made it possible to keep moving and cover more distance. So I put it In the list three times. I may be wrong but aren't 5K races walk/run events? Wishing you the best...

 

I should add that the pace the song sets is not too fast yet it is running. I was listening to it one day and there was a man walking in front of me. I never did pass him as long as I was on beat. 

Edited by ethalfrida
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It took me about 4 months to get through the 9-week C25K program,

 

Funny story, about a year ago I was reading a message board, (I think My Fitness Pal) where I saw someone write that she weighed 250 pounds and was doing "C25K" for the second time.   I had no idea what "C25K" was, I thought it meant she was running "about 25 kilometers" and was very impressed.   Later on I googled it and found out it was Couch to 5 K.   Still impressed that someone who weighed that much was out running, but 5K is more doable than 25K.   

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And now this is a yoga video link.  Warm up for five minutes before you try this, you just need to not go in cold

 

That's important to remember for all stretching. Don't stretch cold. Do a 5-minute warm-up first, whatever it takes for you to warm up. Some people just need to walk a bit to warm up. Others need to do more. In college my best warm-ups were when I tried to run with the guys on their warm-up runs. For them, it was slow, but for me it was a pretty good pace. But then I'd have a better practice or race.

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You can do some light yoga cold, but real stretching for warming up or post-runs is very important. I use a foam roller to help me warm up as well. For new runners, I'd advise a brisk walk or a very light jog in the first five mins, then you can go at your running pace. Your pace can be very slow, but build up slowly. A cool down walk is really good as well and then lots of stretching.

 

It's very possible to do a 5K in that time. I also did Couch to 5K years ago. I think you can experiment with how you feel each week. You can surprise yourself with how fit you can be. Music can help with pace and motivation. Running with other people is one of the best motivators. 

 

For the race day itself, don't feel pressured to "run" the whole way. You can do 10x1 which is run 10 minutes, walk 1 min. A lot of people do this for their half-marathons or marathons as well. 

 

How was everyone's workouts this weekend?

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Thanks to everyone for such valuable advice. I'm certain it not it only helped me, but others reading and considerering running and what it entails. You can't beat words from real people with no agenda. Thank you.

So....for the first time ever I just got back from my apartment gym. I've lived here five years! I stretched and on the treadmill walked for 3, jogged for 10, walked 5, jogged 8, walked 4. This totaled 30 minutes. It kicked my butt. The highest I got was 4.0 and most jogging was 3.7. Not exactly speedy.

I watched the videos and am going Sunday to a track with my niece. That will help me see exactly where she is and where I'd like to be. The tyke is a little athlete so she could surprise me.

But I did it by George! Cheering on everyone here might be trying something new or serious hard core athletes. We can do it!

Edited by KnoxForPres
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The highest I got was 4.0 and most jogging was 3.7. Not exactly speedy.

 

First, I have to again say good for you for starting!  John Bingham has a quote: "The miracle wasn't that I finished; the miracle was that I had the strength to start."  He's well-known for being a very slow runner and for encouraging those of us who are probably never going to be in any danger of actually winning the events we enter :)

 

My average speed for my 10K was 4.4 MPH.  I think I've managed to do maybe a mile at slightly over 5, but even that is a tough speed for me.  Every single "real" runner I have talked to says the same thing: worry about the distance first, then work on speed.  Speed is the very last piece of the puzzle.

 

Make sure you give yourself rest days.  My layperson's understanding is that most of the magic happens due to the muscles healing themselves after the strain of the workout, so you have to give them that rest time.

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I stretched and on the treadmill walked for 3, jogged for 10, walked 5, jogged 8, walked 4. This totaled 30 minutes. It kicked my butt. The highest I got was 4.0 and most jogging was 3.7. Not exactly speedy.

 

Knox, that's GREAT for the first time out of the gate :-)  Now do know there's going to be some residual soreness and that the bulk of that is usually two days afterward, as opposed to the day after.  It may be a little startling if it's been a little while. Hydration is super important and you might want to read up a bit on what runners like to eat the day before an event.   One of my friends finds she needs to eat a lot of salt the day before a race.  She's a salty sweater.  At the L.A. marathon last year they ran out of gatorade and someone on the sideline gave her an actual handful of salt ...and it helped. 

 

Here's one that's hard for people to get behind sometimes.  If your back grumbles a bit in the aftermath, my personal experience has been that giving into the temptation to soak in a hot tub is not the right move for that.  Some people will swear up and down by it, but again in my experience the old "cold will never inflame an injury, but heat can" is true. 

 

I hope it goes really well and maybe you'll be a convert :-)  

 

 

 

Make sure you give yourself rest days.  My layperson's understanding is that most of the magic happens due to the muscles healing themselves after the strain of the workout, so you have to give them that rest time.

 

^ That is super important.  Plus, don't forget to schedule the actual day of the race after a rest day, usually two is helpful -- but on that I'm just speaking solely from "what I have gleaned" experience, so it's just important to keep in mind.  I know my husband is always so jazzed about runs after a three day rest usually brought about by work scheduling.  

 

So this is also reminding me of the guy I worked out next to in Kansas last month.  Usually when I check into a hotel, the first thing I do is check out the gym, go to my room, change and hit the gym because traveling makes me antsy and I usually want to work out....so usually probably a good ten minutes in between the initial "let's check it out" and actually getting in there.  When I looked in, there was a guy, middle-aged but super fit, running flat out on the treadmill.  I mean, this guy was at a near sprint, if not a full one.  

 

My husband and I head upstairs change and he goes out to run on the street because it's Fort Hays and you couldn't get lost if you tried, but it's also where we always stop when we drive to Colorado.   Off my husband goes and I head into the gym and hop on the elliptical right next to this runner.  He's wearing glasses, but his room key and a different set of glasses (yes, those are this fellow's reading glasses)  are on the elliptical's pedals.  In an Eastern European accent he tells me to just put them on the floor, but I did move them to the towel stand instead.  

 

I'd been in the car for almost eight hours and you know how road trips go, part of the secret of them is to not be as well hydrated as you might normally be so as not to have to stop to pee every time you turn around.  So I knew I wasn't going to have a particularly good workout, but I thought I'd do 30 mins on the machine, then 20 minutes of weight lifting, because they had a really good free weight selection.  

 

It's sort of key to mention that all hotel gyms have different equipment and there's no real standardized way to figure it out, you just might get a slightly different workout than you thought you would.  Normally on a random program I'm set at about a middle fitness level.   Well, on this particular machine it's immediately apparent that setting it at a 4 for random was a bad decision. That basically determines your baseline, easier stuff and the machine will throw out two or three minutes of easier or much more difficult levels.  I set it for 30 minutes and the "easier" part of that random just never showed up.  At all.  It's instantly kicking my under hydrated butt, but I don't realize "it will never throw out a 2 or 3 or a 1....the lightest it will go is 4 and the highest is going to be 12...good luck! Try not to die in Kansas."  

 

Since I didn't know "Oh, okay this works differently than I'm used to."  I thought it was just starting out challenging and I kept expecting it to drop down.  By 8 minutes in it is like someone has installed a sprinkler head underneath my scalp.  Even my kneecaps were pretty much instantly sweating, but the guy next to me?  Running flat out on an incline and he's got ten years on me, easy and he's politely glowing, whereas I"m the human rain forest. 

 

So I'm too self-conscious to jump off and reset to weenie in front of the Terminator on the treadmill.  And I figure the worst that will happen is that I get my ass too kicked to actually do the weights.  At the 27 minute mark my husband comes in, drenched in sweat, from running the mean streets of flatter-than-hell-Hays and gives the guy next to me an alarmed look, because he's still just plain old sprinting away, on an incline that just keeps adjusting.   I am now the color of the Arts and Leisure section of the paper, express great joy at seeing my husband and ask him for a towel because OH MY GOD DID I NEED ONE.  

 

I finish the last three minutes, gratefully get off the machine and down a bottle of water in basically one gulp.  Running Man?  Still running.  My husband goes upstairs to shower and I do one full set of free weights (wiping down everything and lining the bench with towels, because how much of a dripping mess I am cannot be overstated).  Meanwhile the running guy gives a gentle cough every ten minutes or so. It's the only sign of fatigue he ever showed.  

 

I do one set.  He's still running.  I do the next ten minute set.  STILL RUNNING.  I wipe down everything I touched with those gym wipes, stuff the towels into the hamper.  My hair is drenched from root to tip in sweat.   My shirt is one big sweat stain.  I'm fairly convinced that my sweat pants are pretty freaking damp too, but I thankfully have on black ones so at least it isn't going to look as bad as it might have otherwise.  Apparently the running man (who is still running and only now showing signs of going into the cool down) has whipped his glands into impressive shape too, because he's not just a vapor cloud of perspiration.  Meanwhile, I look like warmed over hell and OF COURSE this is all in front of those giant mirrors that line every wall.  So there I am, in all my visible funk glory and as I head out of the room, I glance over at the biomechanism who is clearly fully capable of kicking all of our butts without breaking a sweat, and as luck would have it, he's also taking that moment to steal a glance in the mirror at the Swamp Thing that is Me taking my leave.   I think he might have been trying to assess how likely I was to die on my way to my room.  

 

He gives me a great big smile and waves, like he's been out for a stroll this entire time.  I go upstairs, shower, get ready to go eat (where I would practically drink soy sauce to try and help with my electrolyte balance) and we head out to dinner.  My husband says, "I'm actually afraid to look in the gym because I'm terrified that guy is still running."   He wasn't but we spent the rest of our brief stay there inventing a background story for that guy that would have been worthy of the nemesis in a Bourne book.  

 

That guy is kind of case-in-point for the whole "don't compare yourself to others" deal.   

Edited by stillshimpy
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My average speed for my 10K was 4.4 MPH.  I think I've managed to do maybe a mile at slightly over 5, but even that is a tough speed for me.  Every single "real" runner I have talked to says the same thing: worry about the distance first, then work on speed.  Speed is the very last piece of the puzzle.

 

That's good to know.   I have a hard time running fast.  I'm always (foolishly) comparing myself to my husband, who can run much faster, he's doing an 8 minute mile.   I know I'll never approach that, but it's hard when I don't have anyone to compare myself to, no other women I know personally run at all.  

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Stillshimpy, that was a very interesting story and enjoyable morning read. I think you would be great to work out with. Wish we could have meet a gym or hotel gym sometime and do just that!

Edited by ethalfrida
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That's good to know.   I have a hard time running fast.  I'm always (foolishly) comparing myself to my husband, who can run much faster, he's doing an 8 minute mile.   I know I'll never approach that, but it's hard when I don't have anyone to compare myself to, no other women I know personally run at all.  

 

I did come in ninth from last in my 10K, out of 400+ people :)

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That's good to know.   I have a hard time running fast.  I'm always (foolishly) comparing myself to my husband, who can run much faster, he's doing an 8 minute mile.   I know I'll never approach that, but it's hard when I don't have anyone to compare myself to, no other women I know personally run at all.  

 

When I first started running, I made the mistake of reading an article in Runner's Digest that referred to my treadmill pace as 'walking fast'.  At first I was heartbroken, but then realized that it didn't really matter, for the first time in my life I was actually able to run for a significant amount of time without passing out!  So Runner's Digest can bite me.  I haven't really been running very long, but I really enjoy my 40-45 minute treadmill runs, 3x week at a 4.4 mph pace.  I don't really have any interest in running marathons or anything, karate is my thing and that's where I really train hard, but on my off days I enjoy a nice, easy run. 

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but I really enjoy my 40-45 minute treadmill runs, 3x week at a 4.4 mph pace.  I don't really have any interest in running marathons or anything, karate is my thing and that's where I really train hard, but on my off days I enjoy a nice, easy run

 

That's about the speed I go on the treadmill in my usual runs.   It is actually running, I'm moving my legs like a runner, not just fast walk.   I think once problem may be that the treadmill (or whaever) doesn't take into account shorter legs.  When my husband is on the treadmill at 4.8 mph, he's walking.   When I'm on the treadmill at that pace, I'm running.  

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That's about the speed I go on the treadmill in my usual runs.   It is actually running, I'm moving my legs like a runner, not just fast walk.   I think once problem may be that the treadmill (or whaever) doesn't take into account shorter legs.  When my husband is on the treadmill at 4.8 mph, he's walking.   When I'm on the treadmill at that pace, I'm running.  

 

Thank you!  It is running, isn't it?!  I'm petite and for me, that's running, my 6'4" son on the other hand, not so much.  

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When I'm running hard, I usually run faster than that (for a few minutes anyway), but if it's faster than 4 mph, I'm running, not walking. Walking faster than 4 mph hurts my shins. Running is easier, even if it looks so slow to passersby that they think I should be walking. It's just an easier motion at that speed. And it doesn't hurt my shins.

 

I'm 5'3", so that probably comes into play.

Edited by auntlada
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Well, here's the thing, there are so many factors that come into play for something like running time. Weight, height, length of stride, body composition that it's actually sort of weird that Runner's World would try to quantify what constitutes running and walking across the board, in some hugely generalized manner.  Exertion is a huge factor in how much benefit someone gets from whatever form of exercise they undertake too.  It's part of the reason if you look up "How many calories will I burn if I _______ for one hour" the answers will be across a huge range.   Intensity determines a ton of things within any given workout.  Energy expended within the exact same workout, by the exact same person can differ given the day.  

 

Plus, someone can run in place with dynamic movements, not move an inch forward and still get a pretty intense workout.  I guess maybe Runner's World is all about eating up the miles in front of a person, but in terms of an absolutely definitive brisk walking vs.  running it's simply not possible to define exertion like that.  I could walk across the room doing lunges, with weights, doing overhead presses with each stride and my heart rate is going to go UP in a meaningful way, but the distance covered and the pace at which I'm doing it would be Turtle Levels of slow.  I've done that and it kicks almost anyone's butt, but the progress is sllllooowww.  

 

So I don't know, that's a very weird way to try and quantify something that's going to be measured in energy output or exertion at the end of the day: the difference between a brisk walk and a running pace.    Just saying, briochetwist you're going to know when you're running vs. walking and that Digest was being goofy in suggesting there was some line in the sand for what determined a running vs. walking pace for everyone.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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I went back to apt gym alone (minor accomplishment due to fear). I have run quite a bit and I did a fast walk for 3.4 miles. So I know I can do the distance of the 5K (which is 3.1, just had it wrong).

Tonight I did DVD of Super Cardio in The Firm series. I was able to complete the 62 minutes. It's very old school with cheesy backgrounds but it is freaking hard. Lots of 90s jumping around and stuff before everything got cool. I got in the best shape of my life in my early 20s doing their VHS. My Gosh that makes me feel old to type! It really does. Time indeed does fly.

Edited by KnoxForPres
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I'm impressed with anyone who can do any kind of aerobics for 62 minutes. I've never been able to do that, even when I could run for that long. Aerobics was always lots harder for me.

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Knox, I was just wondering how you were doing and it sounds like you're doing great :-)  Keep at it, and way to conquer your fear factor.  I remember The Firm and it was challenging as could be.  I'm on sort of a sane cycle for the next two weeks, I swap out workout cycles every twelve workouts, this cycle I am not doing any kind of high intensity training, so it's pretty straightforward one day half hour worth of free weights for upper body 15 minutes abdominal, plus 30 mins of cardio, next day, 1/2 hour lower body 15 minutes abdominal (pilates or plank combos) + 1/2 hour cardio (the elliptical) but at a higher intensity, next day 50 minutes of cardio , next day 1 hour of yoga -- whatever the heck end up doing on my active rest day which is either a stretching program or 30 * 45 minute moderate cardio and then repeat.  

 

So it's not super exciting and it's time consuming, but this is the cycle where I have the TV on for much of that (not the yoga) , so at least I get to watch something :-)  

I was reading about doing two-a-days and I have to say -- I think that's where I reach the limit of how much I like working out.  I have just never been able to do the morning and then again late afternoon or evening workouts.  Just the thought of all that laundry and showering tires me out to contemplate.  It's not the actual workouts because all those two-a-day things do is split these longer and slower workouts into two parts of the day.  So a half hour in the morning and then a half hour again in the late afternoon or early evening, but it would still double everything else.  

 

So after this one, I guess I'll go into a core fusion rotation instead. I keep promising myself that I'll do a 12 workout rotation that is just yoga, but I never do.  

 

Also, in the spirit of "there's at least one thing everyone just can't bring themselves to do" (aside from my complete terror of P90X and Crossfit) , that one thing that you know is good for you, but you just can't stand the darned thing?  For me it is anything that involves higher impact for sustained length of time, high intensity I like, high impact, ugh.   So doing jumping jacks for a minute ....ugh, hate that because of all the bounce.  Same thing with jumping rope.  Anything that is repetitively jarring.   I don't mind jump squats.  I'll even do Burpees which it turned out is named after some dude named....Burpee. So now I know that and they've been around since 1939.  I guess with all this stuff, it really is true that everything old becomes new again. 

 

Yoga, Pilates....maybe next up The Firm, Knox :-) 

Edited by stillshimpy

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